Barbados
Buy
Rent
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Data-Driven Results

At Terra Caribbean, we believe the best results are guided by data. That’s why we invest heavily in our acquiring and banking knowledge on the property market in Barbados. Like us, our clients value real estate market information because it helps them make more informed and confident decisions. Whether you are looking to buy your first home in Barbados, investing in commercial real estate or land, or renting out office space, you can rely on our team to provide you with the information you need to make sound decisions. 

Indices

Understanding market trends when investing in Barbados real estate is key. It’s one of the reason we developed the Barbados Condo Price Index (BCPI) in 2015. It is the first-ever real estate index published in Barbados, providing you with year-over-year values on beachfront condominiums and land. Due to high turnover rates with strong rental potential, the condominium index offers you up-to-date information on one of our market’s most active real estate segments in Barbados. The land price index provides a more general indicator of economic activity in Barbados. 

Buying Process

Whether you’re buying residential or commercial real estate in Barbados, we help ensure everything goes smoothly. With over 60 years of real estate experience in Barbados, our team of experts will streamline every step of the buying process. That means finding your ideal home, office or plot of land is always efficient and stress-free. Browse a few key insights below for more details. 

Key Insights:

  • There are NO restrictions to non-nationals purchasing Barbados properties
  • There are no special visas required and non-nationals are welcomed to make Barbados their home
  • There are some simple procedures that involve Foreign currency being brought into Barbados, as well as funds borrowed by non-nationals which should be registered with the Central Bank of Barbados
  • There is no Capital Gains Tax in Barbados so investors are not charged for the appreciation in the value of their property

Transaction Costs:

  • Attorney fees are approx. 1% - 2.5% plus 17.5% VAT
  • You will be expected to pay the proportionate amount of Land Tax

Standard Purchase Procedure:

  • Verbal offer and acceptance (in some cases a reservation agreement may apply)
  • Appointment of an attorney-at-law
  • Exchange of contracts for sale and payment of a 10% deposit to the vendor’s attorney-at-law within two to four weeks
  • Conveyance and payment of 90% remaining balance within three to six months (In the case of off-plan developments, stage payments based on construction progress may apply.)

Selling Process

With a database of real estate knowledge and a team of highly-qualified experts, more clients trust us to list and sell Barbados property. We offer up-to-date information and valuable resources so you can feel confident and assured as you make decisions on the sale of your property in Barbados. Our seller dashboard keeps you updated on viewings and other property activity as we find your ideal buyer. Browse a few key insights below for more details.  

Transaction Costs:

  • Attorney fees are approx. 1% - 2.5% plus 17.5% VAT
  • Real estate agent’s fees will be 4% to 5% plus 17% VAT – this fee includes marketing, viewing, signage, etc.
  • Stamp duty is 1%
  • Property transfer tax is payable by the vendor at the following rates:
    • Unimproved property – 2.5%
    • Improved property
    • First US $75,000 is exempt
    • Amounts over US $75,000 – 2.5%

Standard Sale Procedure:

  • Verbal offer and acceptance
  • Appointment of an attorney-at-law
  • Exchange of contracts within two to four weeks
  • Provision of copies of prior deeds
  • Draft conveyance sent to the purchaser’s attorney for perusal
  • Signing of conveyance within two to six months
  • Land tax bills and water bills must be fully paid up

Renting FAQ

Whether you’re searching for the right long-term rental to call home or the perfect office space for your growing business, we’re here to help. Our team of knowledgeable professionals will show you an assortment of real estate options that suit your budget and preferences. Finding your residential of commercial rental property in Barbados will be easy and seamless. Browse our rental FAQ below for more information. 

Do your rentals come furnished?
Some properties come furnished, with appliances only, or unfurnished. We will discuss your preferences during our initial meeting, so that your agent knows exactly what you need from your long-term rental.

We like the place; can we have it without the furniture that’s in there?
Some owners are flexible and willing to make that adjustment, but we can verify this with the landlord before signing an agreement.

Can we bring our pets?
Pets are an important part of many people’s families, so we can check with the individual landlord to find out what pets, if any, they will allow on their property.

Does the place have insect screens?
In our tropical island climate, it is not unusual to have small insects flying in and through our homes. Some properties are fitted with window screens to keep this to a minimum. If this is a concern, we can check each property you’re considering to find out if they have window screens.

Is the property wired for high-speed internet/cable?
Internet and high-speed connections are increasingly common in many homes. Your agent will be able to confirm the features of each property upon viewing.

Does the rental price include utilities?
Many landlords will cover the cost of the water bill but this is not a given. We can confirm with the potential landlord to see if they cover the cost of any utilities before signing your rental agreement.

Does the rental price include maintenance of the garden and/or pool?
This is entirely up to the landlord. However, we can validate this information prior to signing your agreement, or recommend someone who can handle this task.

How much do we need to pay to move in?
Your move-in deposit varies depending on the landlord’s preference. Typically, you will be asked to pay the first and last month’s rent plus a security deposit; others may require some other combination of this.

Owning Property In Barbados

If this is the first time you’re a purchasing property in Barbados, Trinidad or Grenada, the costs outlined below should help to clarify the ongoing expenses that you can expect. If you have any specific questions regarding these expenses of others, our team at Terra Caribbean would be happy to provide additional information.  

Annual Costs:

  • Property insurance can vary between US $2.50 to US $3.25 per US $500
  • Contents insurance is recommended and this will range between US $3.00 to US $3.75 per US $500
  • Land Tax:
    • Unimproved Residential Land – Site Value – 0.8%
    • Improved Value – Residential
      • First US$95,000 – exempt
      • On the excess greater than US$95,000 but not exceeding US$250,000 – 0.1%
      • On the excess greater than US$250,000 but not exceeding US$625,000 – 0.45%
      • On the excess greater than US$625,000 – 0.75%
  • Improved Value for All Other Property - 0.5%
  • Land Tax is capped at a maximum of US$30,000 on residences.
  • Agricultural, Pensioner and Hotels will be calculated on 50% of the tax demanded and not on the site or improved values. Villas rented to the tourist market; and registered with the BTA – Barbados Tourism Authority will be calculated on 75% of the tax demanded.

Monthly costs which can be expected include:

  • Electricity – Barbados Light & Power
  • Water – Barbados Water Authority
  • Telephone Land Line – Flow
  • Internet – Flow, Digicel, etc
  • Cable TV – MCTV by CBC, Direct TV, Flow
  • Condo fees, if applicable
  • Pool and garden maintenance, if applicable

Property Management:

Property management services are readily available on the island and are generally based on the size and complexity of the property. The minimum charge generally starts at US $200. For more information, visit BlueSkyLuxury.com to read more about our property management services.

Long-Term Rentals:

For those interested in owning an income property and opting for a long-term tenant, we would be happy to assist with listing your property. Please fill-out the form here and we will have an agent contact you as soon as possible. Below is the breakdown of the fees as it relates to long-term rentals:

  • 1-month rent for the 1st year
  • 0.5-month rent for the 2nd year
  • 0.25-month rent for the 3rd year

Short-Term Rentals:

An owner may prefer to look at the holiday rental market as it provides more flexibility and personal use of the property by the landlord throughout the year. In this model the fees are between 10% to 30% of the rental income (commission), dependent on the source of business.

Visit our sister company Blue Sky Luxury to find out more about short-term rentals in Barbados.

Mortgage Information

If you’re looking to finance the purchase of your Barbados property, there are many options to consider. Below you’ll find some information on financing your property with US dollar offshore mortgages or local dollar mortgages. Should you have any questions, our agents can provide additional information or refer you to a qualified financing specialist. 

US Dollar Mortgage / Finance:

US dollar mortgages are readily available to non-nationals and non-residents, from the offshore sector of the local banking industry. You would be best advised to contact these institutions for their exact terms and conditions, however here is an overview of what can be expected:

  • Between 60% - 70% LTV up to US $2.5 million
  • 50% LTV in excess of US $2.5 million
  • Minimum loan value is approximately US $250,000
  • Amortization ranging between 5 to 25 years
  • Rate LIBOR plus 2.5% to 4% - N.B. Rate can change based on market forces
  • Bank’s attorney fees are approx. 1% - 2.5% plus 17.5% VAT
  • Administration and arrangement fees are generally 1%

Personal requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Demonstrated foreign income stream must be provided to support repayment of mortgage (Job Letters / Income Tax returns)
  • Current valuation / appraisal on Barbados property you own
  • Current personal state of affairs, and if purchased by a company, an audited financial statement from a reputable Chartered Accounting firm
  • Bank references
  • Total debt servicing ratio not to exceed 40%
  • Approval by The Central Bank of Barbados
  • Sales agreement and current valuation report on the Barbados property you intend to purchase
  • Two forms of Government issued identification

The Institutions Offering US Dollar Mortgages Are:

  • The Royal Bank of Canada
  • First Caribbean International Bank

Local Barbados Dollar Mortgage / Finance:

When applying for a local Barbados dollar mortgage there are a few important points to note. Most financial institutions require the following documentation:

  • Proof of identification such as Barbados ID or Passport
  • Confirmation of your residential address eg: utility bill
  • Job letter from your employer and a recent pay slip
  • If self-employed, financial statements for the company
  • Bank statements, especially for new customers
  • Barbados property sales valuation
  • If you are building on the property, or renovating, a contractor’s estimate
  • An agreement of property sale from the vendor selling the property (where applicable)

In general, the terms and conditions for local mortgages are as follows (may vary among lending institutions):

  • Interest rates between 6 - 8.5%. This is subject to change based upon the local market. You can use our Mortgage Calculator tool to get an estimate of what you can expect to pay each month.
  • Mortgages can cover up to 95% of the total amount, and some institutions do offer 100% coverage
  • Housing Service Ratio (HSR) should not be more than 40% of gross personal income
  • List of assets and collateral
  • Evidence of full life insurance
  • List of cash and bonds
  • The property itself can be used as collateral to secure your mortgage
  • Terms can vary:
    • Up to 10% deposit required
    • Up to 35 years to repay

Generally, lending institutions require that mortgages be repaid before you reach 70-years of age. This means that your mortgage payments and term will be calculated depending on your age and the number of years before you turn 70. However; there is flexibility with most institutions and it is always better to meet with a mortgage finance specialist to determine the term of your loan.

For further information on Barbados property sales, please contact one of our professional advisors - Sales@terracaribbean.com or +246 422 2618

Relocating

Relocating to Barbados or anywhere in the world can be quite an emotional experience. You are family can become excited about the move, but also apprehensive about the challenges you might face when settling into a new country and leaving close friends and family behind. Finding the right property is probably the single most important component of the relocation process.

Important Steps to Consider:

  • Understanding what properties are available and suitable
  • Defining the type of home that the family needs
  • Considering the option of shipping personal effects
  • Understanding locations and distances on the island
  • Managing security, services and other amenities
  • Prioritizing important property characteristics

Understanding Home Choices

Barbados offers a wide variety of home choices such as single standing houses, townhouses, apartments and condominiums. The island offers gated communities and planned residential neighborhoods. It is worth noting that property type categories may have different meanings depending on your country of origin. The same real estate terminology could have different nuances: a cottage – a small house; a cottage – a small holiday home with limited amenities. There are also property designs that have different names depending on which part of the world you are from. For instance, what is a duplex? Is it a semi-detached property? As such, a wide variety of properties should be viewed based on a layout description rather than on a type.

Defining Your Key Criteria
Seeing an ample selection of properties will give you a good understanding of the product range and Barbados landscape. However, identifying key criteria and providing feedback to your agent upon each viewing will lead you to the property best suited to you and your family. Consider the housing options and amenities that are important to your lifestyle:

  • Will a pool be important?
  • Is a garden necessary?
  • Are there plans to have a pet?
  • Is walking distance to amenities important to you?
  • Do you partake in certain hobbies or sports?
  • Will you have a lot of overseas visitors?
  • Will you be travelling often?

Shipping Personal Effects
You may be undecided as to whether you should ship your personal effects. While many wish to maintain some sort of familiarity with the importation of the family furniture, others choose leave furniture in the country of origin. The Custom and Excise Department allows items for the individual or household to be imported duty free once the items are a year or older and are imported within the first three months of arrival. It is recommended that a customs broker be retained to receive the shipment. If importing furniture is not an option or feasible, a smaller shipment of personal items such as photos, paintings, ornaments, lamps, books and linens can meet this objective.

Choosing the Right Location
Although our island is small – only 166 square miles - the winding roads and traffic congestion can create long drive times. Even though you might be accustomed to long drive times in your home country, a similar drive time in Barbados is typically a different experience. Therefore, your work location should be considered in relation to the home location. We strongly recommend test-drives to work during rush-hour traffic before signing a lease. Also, have children attending schools, you will need to factor in their transportation in the morning and afternoon. Most of the elementary schools are located in either one congested location on the south coast or in the countryside. The extracurricular activities are generally located on the south coast as well.

Factoring Security and Other Amenities
The security of the house and the neighborhood is also of paramount importance. Although Barbados has low crime, necessary precautions should be taken. An informed evaluation of the area and review of the security of the home is required before the final decision on the home is reached.

If you are looking for home that offers a tropical garden and a pool, maintenance costs should also be considered. The costs associated with maintaining these choices must be fully investigated and negotiated prior to signing the lease. It is preferable for the renter and the landlord that these items remain the responsibility of the landlord by having the costs included in the monthly rental amount. These services are usually fixed costs under a service contract and the amount of weekly service times should be agreed on beforehand.

It is also recommended to ask for a utility bill review of the past three to six months of other variable costs such as electricity and water so as to avoid being surprised once the tenancy commences.

Making a Checklist
When you shop for any property, there will be compromises to make. Therefore, we recommend that you create a checklist, prioritizing the important characteristics of your ideal home. The list would include home design, neighborhood characteristics, commute time to work and schools and proximity to amenities. Rating these important points will maximize your success of finding the right home in Barbados.

For more information on relocation to Barbados please browse our Corporate Rental eBook.

Special Entry Permit

If you plan to move to Barbados for an extended duration, you will need to apply for Special Entry & Reside Permit. The Barbados Immigration Department charges fees for Special Entry and Reside Permits, which are valid for 5 years. Below are some general eligibility and cost guidelines. For more information, contact the Barbados Immigration Department.

Eligibility
Non-nationals who are either:

  • High Net Worth Individuals: Owning assets of US$5 million or more, or
  • Owners of property not subject to mortgage, or investments purchased in Barbados valued at US$2 million or more with funds originating outside of Barbados

Fees for Retired Persons

  • Retired persons over 60 years: US$5,000
  • Retired persons under 60 years: US$3,500

Fees for Employed Persons Over 60 years

  • Special Entry Permit: US$5,000; plus
  • Indefinite work permit: US$15,000; or
  • Annual work permit: US$1,500

Fees for Employed Persons Under 60 Years

Option 1:

  • Special Entry Permit: US$5,000; plus • Indefinite work permit: US$20,000

Option 2:

  • Special Entry Permit: US$3,500; plus • Annual work permit: US$1,500

Fees for Non-Executive Directors

  • Special Entry Permit: US$5,000; plus US$500 annually

Fees for Dependents

  • US$150 per dependent

Getting An Appraisal

As a full-service real estate firm in Barbados and the Caribbean, we offer our clients real estate consultancy services for various properties. Our Advisory Services provide market appraisals, rental reviews, portfolio reviews as well as highest and best use studies. Whether you are a first-time buyer, a seasoned investor, or an existing owner, our professionals can provide you with in-depth advice on the value of your real estate or potential real estate investment. 

The following list represents circumstances for which a valuation may be required:

  • To set an asking price for the sale of a property
  • To establish an offer price for the purchase of a property
  • To secure a loan/mortgage
  • For financial reporting
  • For recoveries/foreclosures
  • For divorce settlements
  • For estate settlements

Our clients typically include private individuals, local and international banks, attorneys, corporate organizations and conglomerates, hotel groups, property funds and insurance companies.

Terra Caribbean is regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and our Advisory Services team includes three RICS Registered Valuers. We adhere to the valuation guidelines as set by the International Valuation Standards Council (IVSC).

If you are interested in a requesting a valuation, please complete our request form